Jun 28, 2021 - Sports
Vertical bike rack business Put Up plants roots in Bentonville
Bikes can be stored vertically on the Up Lift and Put Up systems from Put Up Bike Solutions. Photos courtesy Put Up Bike Solutions

What do a geologist, a 3D designer, a salesman and a coffee roaster have in common? Bikes, of course.

  • Last year, Shane Matson and Kevin Aufdenkamp purchased intellectual property and designs for the Put Up bike rack from a business in Durango, Colo., and relocated it to Bentonville.

Why it matters: Put Up is another example of cycling-centric businesses driving a subtle, but noticeable, economic and cultural shift in Northwest Arkansas.

  • Matson said the decision to locate the business in NWA was logical: "It's the mountain biking capital of the world."

State of play: Matson is a director of geology at Jericho Oil and Aufdenkamp is in medical sales. Both live in Tulsa.

  • Once they decided to locate the business in NWA, they added two more partners: Mark Bray, owner of Airship Coffee, and Vincent Edwards, an instructor who also runs the 3D Advanced Technologies Lab at the University of Arkansas.

Details: Put Up Bike Solutions makes heavy-duty vertical racks for high-density bike parking (think: cities, businesses, universities).

  • The company also recently introduced a plywood rack system, called the Up Lift system, ideal for apartment living.
  • The systems are sold through its website and directly to contractors. One recent sale was to an architect working on a U.S. Air Force base in Albuquerque.

What's next: The group currently outsources its fabrication work — all done in NWA — but is looking to build its own shop here sometime this year.

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